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Cal Poly SLO Student Government Passes Anti-Hate Bill

[additional-authors]
May 3, 2019
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo’s (Cal Poly SLO) Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) student government passed a bill Wednesday condemning all forms of bigotry, including anti-Semitism.

The bill, titled the Freedom of Speech and Anti-Discrimination bylaw amendment, states that ASI is barred from discriminating based on “veteran status, uniformed service member status, race, color, religion, gender identity, gender expression, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation, or related medical conditions), age, national origin or ancestry, immigration status, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, or genetic information (including testing and characteristics).”

Student Nina Krishel, a fellow for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, (CAMERA), wrote in a letter to the student newspaper Mustang News, “With this bill, Cal Poly ASI stands with the Jewish community against anti-Semitism and discrimination.” Krishel also noted that ASI Board of Directors members Noah Krigel and Aliza Herzberg, both of whom assisted in drafting the bill, said the legislation addresses “Jewish students who are concerned about the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism nationally and especially on college campuses, in addition to other forms of xenophobia and discrimination of marginalized communities at Cal Poly SLO.”

Krishel also noted that Krigel and Herzberg said the bill would help prevent ASI from passing a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions resolution.

“I applaud Cal Poly ASI for taking the necessary measures to stand against discriminatory movements and demands from our college campus,” Krishel wrote. “As a Jewish, pro-Israel student, I am proud and lucky to feel safe and supported by my student government.”

Yoni Michanie, CAMERA’s west campus coordinator said in a statement, “This is a major victory for our students. It is a preventive measure to deny any access to the anti-Semitic rhetoric of the BDS campaign. It not only allows our students to feel safe and included, but it shapes the academic atmosphere needed to have genuine, accurate, and productive conversations about the complexities of the conflict.”

The Cal Poly pro-Israel student group Mustangs for Israel wrote in a Facebook post Thursday, “We are so excited that ASI has voted to institutionally protect marginalized communities, including our Jewish community, at Cal Poly!”

UPDATE: Mark Borges, the chair of the ASI Board of Directors, told the Journal in an email “that specific language regarding BDS and other social movements are not mentioned in the document” because “the bill is broad in nature.” The full bill can be read here.

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